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Ohio fugitive arrested in Florida — 56 years after 1959 prison break

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Baku, May 6, AZERTAC

An Ohio fugitive who broke out of prison in 1959 was busted Monday — 56 years after he began his life on the lam.

U.S. Marshals arrested Frank Freshwaters at his Melbourne, Fla., home Monday. The 79-year-old Akron native once convicted of manslaughter was living under the name William Harold Cox, according to Nydailynews.

His arrest comes just three months after the U.S. Marshal’s founded its cold case unit inside the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott told the New York Daily News.

“To anyone who has been wanted for decades: don’t sleep easy,” Elliott said. “That’s the lesson here.”

Freshwaters pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 1957 after he struck a pedestrian with his car. His one- to 20-year prison sentence was originally suspended, but he was sent to prison in 1959 after he violated his five-year probation.

He was originally sent to the Mansfield Ohio State Reformatory — which served as the set for the 1994 film “The Shawshank Redemption” — but was then transferred to the Sandusky Honor Farm for good behavior later that year.

He fled the low-security farm Sept. 30, 1959.

Marshals arrested Freshwaters without incident. He immediately confessed and told officers his real name, Elliott said.

The 79-year-old is currently in a Florida jail, awaiting extradition back to Ohio.

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